Art Historian Awarded Newberry Fellowship for Research

a black and white photograph of Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart photographed by Helen Balfour Morrison, courtesy the Morrison-Shearer Foundation.

Dr. Wendy Castenell, assistant professor of African American art, has been awarded a Short-Term Fellowship by the Newberry Library in Chicago. The fellowship is sponsored by the Morrison Shearer Foundation to support Dr. Castenell’s research on the Chicago photographer Helen Balfour Morrison (1901-1984). Castenell will spend six weeks, during the summer of 2021, at the Newberry, which holds the largest collection of Morrison’s work. She plans to complete an article and begin research for a book project on the photographer.

In addition, Castenell was invited by Panorama, the online, open access journal of the Association of Historians of American Art, to participate in their new initiative, “Toward a More Inclusive Digital Art History,” supported by a major grant from the Terra Foundation for American Art. She will participate in a workshop in early 2021 to strategize and learn about the necessary technology to produce a scholarly writing that takes full advantage of available digital technology.  In the workshop, Castenell will be developing her research on her article titled, “Reenacting Defeat: Indigenous Resistance to Wild West Shows as Spectacles of White Supremacy.” Workshopped articles will then be considered for publication in a special edition of the journal or as a featured work in Panorama.

Group photo of Buffalo Bill's Wild West cast, taken in Italy, 1890.
Buffalo Bill’s Wild West cast in Italy, 1890, Courtesy McCracken Research Library, Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

Dr. Castenell teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in African American art. Her research focuses on African American art; portraiture; gender studies; representations of race and ethnicity in American visual culture; film history and theory; and cross-cultural contact. Her current book project is Creole Identity in the Art of the American South: Louisiana from the Colonial Era to Reconstruction, under contract with Routledge/Taylor & Francis. Castenell was recently named to the Nineteenth-Century Studies Association’s inaugural committee on diversity and inclusion. She has been a board member since 2018.

For more information about The University of Alabama’s programs in studio art and art history, visit our Degree Programs page.